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History of success: furnace control

Reliable furnace control for excellent products

Over the course of more than 90 years, Vacuumschmelze GmbH & Co. KG, with its headquarters in Hanau, Germany has evolved into one of the world's leading companies for magnetic and metallic special materials as well as products refined from these materials. Today, the company employs over 4000 individuals and owns more than 800 patents. Excellent products for almost all industries and markets are produced every year in the business units semi-finished products, parts, cores, components, and permanent magnets.

Task

When manufacturing magnetic materials, the composition of the melt and all further production steps must be designed in such a way that the customer's wishes are fulfilled by tailor-made materials with unique properties. This is because magnetic materials are used in a wide variety of areas and branches of industry including watch manufacturing, medical technology, regenerative energies, shipbuilding, installation technology, automotive, and aviation industries. During manufacturing, the individual production steps must therefore be regulated and monitored very precisely. VACUUMSCHMELZE GmbH & Co. KG in Hanau, Germany has a wide range of magnetically and physically high-quality semi-finished products and parts, inductive components for electronics, magnets, and magnet systems.

JUMO mTRON T solution for the company VACUUMSCHMELZE GmbH & Co.KG

Solution approach

The manufacturing and refinement of these materials takes place in industrial furnaces which reach temperatures above 1000 °C. In industrial furnaces, precise temperature control and monitoring is necessary to guarantee the quality of the materials. In addition to the quality of the materials, the energy costs play an important role for VACUUMSCHMELZE GmbH & Co. KG as well. Optimized temperature control also ensures increased energy efficiency. At its heart is a central processing unit with a process map for up to 30 input or output modules. The CPU has superordinate communication interfaces including a web server. For individual control applications, the system has a PLC (CODESYS V3), program generator and limit value monitoring functions, as well as math and logic modules. In addition to enabling visualization of all processes, the convenient multifunction panel enables easy-to-operate controllers and program generators. Furthermore, user-dependent access to parameter and configuration data for the overall system is supported. The recording functions of a full-fledged paperless recorder, including a web server, are implemented as a special feature. The extensive JUMO product portfolio which in addition to automation solutions includes thermocouples, controllers, thyristor power controllers, recording devices, and safety temperature limiters was also used to construct the furnaces.

Bell furnace after removal of the heating mantle to start the cooling phase

Bell furnace after removal of the heating mantle to start the cooling phase

Bell furnace during removal of the heating mantle during the cooling phase

Bell furnace during removal of the heating mantle during the cooling phase

Bell furnace – still without a heating mantle in the foreground, with a heating mantle installed in the background

Project outcome

JUMO not only delivers individual components but also, as a service provider, supported the entire project from conceptual formulation to startup on-site. In addition, JUMO took on comprehensive Engineering services.